Brown, Erebus left to lament another bungled pit stop

Luck abandoned Will Brown in Race 23. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

Will Brown and Erebus Motorsport were left licking their wounds for the second weekend in a row after a botched pit stop cost them a shot at Supercars glory in Race 23.

Having earlier claimed his maiden Repco Supercars Championship pole position at the Armor All Sydney SuperNight, Brown held off Red Bull Ampol Racing’s Jamie Whincup into Turns 1 and 2.

When Whincup came to the pit lane on Lap 5, Brown and Erebus Motorsport responded by pitting a lap later to stifle the opposing undercut.

Ultimately, it would mean very little as an issue resulted in the teeth on the right-front wheel nut shattering.

Brown would plummet down the order as a result, eventually recovering to finish the 32-lap affair in 11th.

It comes almost exactly a week after the #9 pilot suffered a similarly slow pit stop in Race 20 at Sydney Motorsport Park.

That also cost him a chance to challenge Shell V-Power Racing Team driver Anton De Pasquale for the win.

“I think you all saw what happened,” said Brown of his Race 23 woes.

“The pit stop was pretty disappointing. It was pretty cool to get that start and Whincup was hustling me into Turn 2 and I wasn’t going to let him have it but I was probably a little bit too harsh on the hard tyres and Whincup was sort of over me, but a disappointing pit stop.

“I’m not too sure what happened, I haven’t talked to the boys but I guess at the start it was pretty cool to start on pole.

“I remember just looking and thinking ‘how cool is this, starting pole next to Whincup’. So we’ll take some of the positives away but bloody disappointing. Somebody doesn’t want us to win.”

Brown’s team-mate Brodie Kostecki had a similarly eventful day.

The #99 pilot would qualify fifth and find himself battling with the Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Will Davison for effectively third on corrected order.

However, he would cop a drive-through penalty for breaking the 40kph speed limit (clocked at 48kph), eventually finishing 23rd in the 26-car field.

For team boss Barry Ryan, it was a day of what could have been.

“We got pole position and it was great but I’ve said it a lot this year, we’ve got to do the job, the drivers have got to do the job and the cars has got to be fast – we just didn’t get all of that right tonight,” he said.

“We’ll come back tomorrow and be stronger and we’ll probably do pit stop practice tonight.

“We have got to get that right, and Brodie has got to learn not to speed in pit lane.

“But we’re proud of ourselves, we have just got to do a few things better and we’ll win races this year.”

Across the two SMP weekends to date, Erebus Motorsport has been one of the quickest teams in pit lane.

Although they only have one pole position and a solitary podium to show from four races, Brown is nevertheless optimistic heading into Sunday.

“I’ve got a bloody fast race car but it’s not helping us right now,” said Brown.

“We have just got to get these pit stops, then we will be right up there.

“It was cool to be battling against the Red Bulls and really putting it to them, so we’ll see what we can do overnight and get back out there.”

Back-to-back qualifying sessions will determine the grid for Race 24 and Race 25. Action gets underway at 14:30 local time/AEDT.

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